Amazon: The Battle for the Nordics

cardboard robot toy made of Amazon parcels, standing in a tree
Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

The annexation of a nation

Amazon is invading Scandinavia, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. Swedish real estate magazine, Fastighetsvärlden, reported the retail giant bought 3 plots of land in central Sweden. They also launched Amazon Web Services back in April 2017, and acquired the amazon.se domain, which presently directs to the .de site.

According to statistics from PostNord, one of Scandinavia’s largest logistics solutions providers, Swedes spent roughly €8.7 billion online last year. Most of that time via their smartphones. That’s the most of all the other Nordic countries. On the other hand, few, if any, Swedish competitors offer anything like the next-day delivery magic that has become the norm for most Prime customers.

Even though there’s still no official launch date, you can certainly expect the world’s seventh-largest retailer to have a massive impact on Nordic retailers in the near future. The retail apocalypse has been looming over our heads for ages now, and businesses across the Nordics are worried. Is this it? Is this how traditional retail ends? Not with a bang, but with the measly click of a mouse?

person using laptop computer holding payment card
Photo by rupixen on Unsplash

“The Amazon effect” on retail

“The Amazon Effect”. It’s a term that has had businesses worldwide quivering with apprehension since the turn of the century. The meaning of this phrase can vary depending on the industry being affected, but generally it refers to the struggle many stores — particularly brick-and-mortar outlets — face when they compete with a retail behemoth like Amazon.

Does it mean that this Warlord of Retail is obliterating the competition? Not necessarily. Amazon’s success has led to some business closures, sure. Nonetheless, many companies have tackled the Amazon effect creatively and effectively to successfully compete for customers. They saw the Amazon Effect as just another symptom of the retail world’s constant state of flux, and they evolved.

Some big retail chains are playing a game against Amazon they simply can’t win. Most companies will never be cheaper or faster than this retail titan. Competing with their massive selection and free same-day shipping is an absolute Kobayashi Maru for most mega-store chains, a no-win situation – unless they drastically change how the game is played.

Local businesses, however, are on a completely different level. Amazon will never be able to fully connect with shoppers to give them personalized, memorable shopping experiences quite like a local showroom with a knowledgeable, helpful sales staff. This personal aspect is the thermal exhaust port on the Death Star that is Amazon – a severe weak spot in their structure.

Stormtrooper popping out of computer keyboard
Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

When Amazon arrives, the business landscape in the Nordics will change dramatically. There’s no question. However, Scandinavia has been fortunate to have seen how this battle has played out before. Most recently in Holland. This time, they can anticipate the disruption that Amazon will cause and properly prepare for it. It is crucial that these companies have a strong strategy so they are well-positioned when Amazon comes knocking.

If you’ve read as many sci-fi epics as I have, you’d know that the key to defeating any beast is pooling your resources and thinking outside the box. Local businesses have a secret weapon. They can communicate with their customers on a deeper, more personal level. This special ability can win out in an age where consumers are wary of major corporations and bored with the generic online shopping experience. This personal touch might be their greatest defense against the retail apocalypse.

Call in for backup

Don’t forget to call in the cavalry! MEVO has the right tool to enhance your defense against the imminent arrival of serious competition. With a unique formula of education and motivation, we can help you organize a creative sales campaign that would give the box-giants a run for their money.

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